In Memory of Lucretia McClure
I've attended many NAHSL conferences from the mid-1980's onward. This year, as always, I learned much from listening to my fellow librarians, seeing the posters, and talking to the vendors. Specific presentations will be reviewed by others contributing to the NAHSL blog. I'd like to do something different, to share here my words in memory of Lucretia McClure during the Business Meeting. A few people have asked me for a copy of those remarks.
I’d like to say a few words in remembrance of Lucretia McClure, a NAHSL member who died in mid-October at the age of 94. She was one of the grande dames of medical librarianship, and she is missed.
Lucretia’s first job in the field was at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She held many positions of increasing responsibility there, ultimately becoming Director. She also taught at multiple library schools until her first retirement in 1993. Her activity in MLA began in 1965. She served on many MLA committees, on the Board of Directors, and as president of the association in 1990-91. She delivered the Janet Doe lecture, was elected an MLA fellow, and received the Marcia C. Noyes award.
Lucretia had a second career as special assistant to the Director of the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard, 1996-2011, working on collections and projects. She came for 3 months, but stayed for 17 years, commuting to Boston every week, so that she wouldn’t miss out on being involved in the lives of her grandchildren. She continued her involvement with a number of professional associations, including NAHSL. MLA established the Lucretia W. McClure Excellence in Education Award. In recognition of her contributions to the association, one day of the 2013 annual meeting in Boston was designated as Lucretia McClure Day MLA ’13.
Here is what Lucretia told attendees at the new members gathering at an MLA meeting in Philadelphia:
Many things will happen to you on the way to your life as a librarian. You may work in different places and have different kinds of jobs. The one constant that will be with you and never let you down is friendship, the kind of friendship that stems from meeting your colleagues in this association environment. Yes, you will learn lots of new things, see the latest technology developments at the exhibit hall, hear some challenging speakers. But most of all, you have, by the end of this meeting, become a part of the…association, a part of a vast congregation of librarians who want the same things you do and who will share their ideas and dreams with you.
When you have a problem, you have a wealth of talent in your colleagues. When you need advice, members in this association will be happy to talk with you. The tradition is that we are here for each other. That is something that money cannot buy.
That is the best explanation I’ve heard of why we should belong to our associations. It applies to all of us, not only new members.
The NAHSL Executive Board has made a contribution of $150 to Lucretia’s chosen cause, the Lucretia McClure Library at Valley Manor, a senior living community in Rochester NY. We will also explore the creation of a scholarship or award in her name. The lives of librarians are richer for having had her in our midst.
Jeannine Cyr Gluck, MLS AHIP
Director, Library & Knowledge Services